Tag Archives: skirts and dresses

Fashion Over Function

Perhaps a flowing white skirt was not the smartest outfit choice for a wet and windy day, but sometimes fashion trumps function, and this morning I wanted to wear a flowing white skirt, dammit.

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I began second-guessing my choice as the lake winds whipped the skirt against Betty’s grimy rack and fender, but by that time there was no turning back.

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In a nod to function, here is my head and eye protective gear that rarely makes it into photos.

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By the end of the day, the hem of my skirt was lightly soiled here and there, but nothing terribly noticeable from a distance.  The real danger was the chocolate cake I enjoyed with lunch, crumbs of which inevitably got smushed on my lap.

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Regardless, riding my bike, eating chocolate cake and wearing a flowing white skirt all made me happy, so I consider the dry cleaning bill worth it.  :-)

Score one for fashion.

{I picked this skirt up from a Paris thrift store for 2 euros.  See it styled for summer here.}

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20 Miles in a Zac Posen Dress and 4-Inch Heels

On Sunday, I biked 20 miles in a Zac Posen dress and four-inch high-heeled ankle boots.  My day was full, including a trip downtown for a Joffrey Ballet performance and to the Logan Square neighborhood for my friend Sara’s Oscar party.  Getting ready in the morning, I considered throwing on jeans, flat boots and a wool sweater, but decided to stay strong and dress appropriately for the occasions.

The (second-hand) dress conveniently zips all the way down the back from both ends, allowing me to create more leeway from the bottom while on my bike.

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The weather was sunny and 30 degrees.  For the ride, I threw on a cardigan, trench, cashmere scarf, gloves, and winter helmet.  The trench coverage was helpful because the dress did ride up a bit while biking.

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Once I got downtown, I was able to take the Dearborn protected bike lane for the final mile and a half.  The city has a special snow plow to use for protected lanes and the lane was plowed, but sloppily and some areas were more clear than others.

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And look!  An SUV parked in the lane.  This was the second one I saw.  The city needs to: 1) create better signage; 2) build real barriers; and 3) ticket these drivers.

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Okay, back to my happy place…

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The ballet, American Legends, was beautiful and thought-provoking as always, as was the view from my first-row-balcony season ticket seat.  (Thanks, Groupon!)

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Leaving the ballet, I mounted my camera on Betty Foy’s handlebars and made a video of my ride on the Dearnborn protected lane and the connected Kinzie protected lane.  I’ll post the video soon.

The Oscar party was fun (despite the host’s lame “jokes”) and I enjoyed biking home on empty streets at the end of the night, 12 hours after I left.  My dress and heels were fun for the day, but I was happy to change into flannel pajamas.  :-)

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Video: Cycling in a Long(ish) Skirt

As you may have noticed, I enjoy wearing skirts and dresses, which means that I often cycle in skirts and dresses.  Last summer, I posted about cycling in a long dress on a bike with a chainguard and soon made a  part II video on a “regular” bike with no chainguard.  In both cases, I was wearing ankle length dresses and had to be careful that the hem would not catch in the chain.

Recently, I found myself wanting to wear a new long(ish) skirt on my regular bike.  This skirt stops about 6 inches above my ankle.  I thought I would have to gather the skirt to keep it from the chain and back wheel, but discovered that the skirt hem stayed far from those danger zones once I’m up on the saddle.

I made a quick video to demonstrate how easy bicycling in this long skirt can be – no special accessories or preparation needed.

Bicycling in a Long(ish) Skirt from LGRAB on Vimeo.

Do you have long(ish) skirts that you can cycle in with no problem?

(p.s. I’ll be using Vimeo to post videos now; I’m tired of all the Creepy McCreepersons on YouTube. Visit our channel.)

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Bicycling in a Long Dress, Part II

Last month, I posted about bicycling in a long dress.  I demonstrated using an upright Danish bike with a full chain case.  Today I wore a long dress and I wanted to ride my Rivendell, which has an exposed chain and no skirt guard.  I assume this is the type of bike that most readers have, so I’m posting Bicycling in a Long Dress: Part II – no chain guard edition.

This is almost as simple as Part I.  The only difference is that I pinned up the bottom of my skirt.

Here is a quick video to show how quick and easy making a long skirt bike-friendly is.

Has anyone else tried this with a long dress? I know a few of you commented about similar strategies in the previous post.

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Wardrobe Malfunction: Stapling My Skirt

I wear dresses or skirts almost every day. I ride my bike everyday.

As a result, I’m way beyond the point of caring about my skirts and dresses flapping in the breeze while I ride. A regular knee-length skirt covers more than shorts, even when riding up. As long as the skirt doesn’t fly up completely with a strong wind, it’s all good. That said, my new jean dress ($3 at Salvation Army!) was not behaving today.

The dress is button down in the front and the culprit was the 8 inches or so at the bottom after the last button. In the morning, soon after discovering the problem, I pulled over, took the scrunchie out of my hair and tied the side of my skirt up with it. That solution worked well enough, but for the ride home I wanted a more sophisticated fix. For the life of me, I could not find a safety pin in my office. That’s when the stapler started to look awfully attractive. Crunch, crunch – and my skirt was fixed.

In the future, I’ll try to remember to wear spandex shorts under new dresses, until I know how they will behave. :) But it’s good to know that I can think on my feet (wheels?) when necessary.

Anyone else have quick fixes for wardrobe malfunctions?

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Party Dress Ride

Ruffles? Check. High heels? Check. Bicycle? Hell yeah!

Anyone who knows Trisha would expect no less than for her to arrive at her birthday bash on Peugeot, looking perfectly chic and elegant. In the midst of the torrential downpours and flooding in Nashville this weekend, the sky cleared long enough to make this moment possible.

Girl can ride in heels like nobody’s business, and she is fast. No one should try to tell her that it’s silly or impractical to ride while dressed up. Nothing could be more simple, stylish and fun – plus, it’s much easier than walking in those heels!

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Guitar Bike: These boots are made for biking

The weather is warm enough to wear fun boots instead of snow boots. Riding home from guitar class, I sang in my head the song we played, with a twist: “These boots are made for biking, and that’s just what they’ll do, one of these days the boots are gonna bike all over you.”

“Are you ready boots?  Start bikin’!”

I know I am a geek :)

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The Red Shoes

Yesterday I attended a party at De Fietsfabriek, a Dutch bike shop, to celebrate the fall line of Po Campo stylish bike bags. I wore my lucky red velvet Marc Jacobs shoes and a vintage red bow.

The red shoes are lucky because I wore them when I met Tori Amos and the first thing she said to me was: “I love your shoes!” Then she hugged me. This is the kind of outfit I wear simply because it makes me happy like a little girl. RED BOW!

what's black and white and red all over?

what's black and white and red all over?

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The Best Skirts for Cycling

People are surprised that we cycle in skirts and dresses so often, but it’s not rocket science. Over the past year, we’ve learned that almost every type of outfit works fine on bikes. Skirts offer freedom of movement and are much cooler than pants or shorts, making them especially good for summer cycling. There are some skirts and dresses that are not ideal for cycling, but those are few and far between, easy to work around or avoid. If you find yourself in a problematic skirt, be prepared to either hitch it up or hold it down with one hand. Three factors determine whether a skirt or dress is easy for cycling: structure, fabric and length.

A good dress: short but not too short, narrow but stretchy and not skin tight

A good dress: short but not too short, narrow but stretchy

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